New £500,000 funding for Learning Labs

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An education tech company which has devised systems for learning foreign languages has secured £500,000 in new capital.

Birmingham-based Learning Labs will use the funding to support its work with corporate clients which want to help migrant workers overcome language barriers.

The company was founded in 2013 after creating a system called FlashSticks which are Post-it Notes with helpful hints on them for learning words in foreign languages.

It later developed an interactive software platform called FlashAcademy for use on computers and mobile devices which can now enable learners to study 45 different languages.

FlashAcademy is primarily used in the education sector but Learning Labs is now creating a new tool for the workplace, developed alongside manufacturing trade body Make UK and corporations such as Jaguar Land Rover and BAM Construction.

The platform is aimed at creating new services for migrant workforces.

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Learning Labs, which is based at tech campus Innovation Birmingham, will use the new finance to increase its product development and help it establish a foothold with business clients.

This latest capital comprises finance from some existing investors and £250,000 from part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) which is managed by venture capital firm Midven.

Veejay Lingiah, who co-founded Learning Labs with Richard Allen, said: “This investment through Midven and MEIF will enable the business to support the tremendous growth and development that we are seeing with FlashAcademy.

“Within the last few weeks, we have seen an upsurge of more than 20,000 new students being added to the platform as schools and colleges seek out engaging distance learning solutions to maintain learning progress during the covid-19 lockdown.

“As the education sector continues to adapt to the changing landscape brought upon by the pandemic, the Learning Labs team are working to full capacity in order to help enable young people to successfully learn from home in the same way as most of us are working from home.”

Midven’s investment director Giovanni Finocchio added: “Learning Labs is a great addition to our MEIF portfolio. The company has seen a marked increase in the number of schools and pupils benefiting from FlashAcademy.

“By engaging the pupils, the platform helps ensure they are completing the curriculum while improving their language proficiency.

“The importance of this is more prevalent than ever before as a prime concern for pupils during the covid-19 lockdown is that they may fall behind in their curriculum.

“The ed-tech sector is vibrant and fast moving. We believe Learning Labs will be a key positive force in this market for years to come.”

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